Stopping Words That Hurt: Positive Words in a World Gone Negative, written by Dr. Michael D. Sedler, examines that origins, methods and consequences of hurtful language.
Dr. Sedler begins by emphasizing the power of words, especially negative comments and gossip. He encourages the reader to contemplate how hurtful and destructive even casual comments can be. The impact on the speaker, listener, and absent victim is explored and explained in detail. Injury or contamination occurs to all parties. Dr. Sedler does a good job pointing out that even if I don’t listen to or participate in gossip, I cannot help but be impacted by the statements I hear. Dr. Sedler encourages listeners of gossip to do more than ignore or not contribute to the conversation, but to actively defend the absent party and steer all participants into a more positive conversational direction.
The problems Dr. Sedler describes and the strategies he suggests are universal, but non-Christians may be put off by the Christian language that is used in his writing. Dr. Sedler uses many personal anecdotes and Bible stories to support his work. I felt that the book was a little long, but ultimately I recommend it as a good reminder of the importance of positive communication.
(I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a sincere review)